Thinking about removing UGF...

mrsmuffin
  • #1
I am thinking about removing the UGF in my 30 gal long tank. I have been running it with airstones along with a Whisper 40 (just replaced due to power surge loss!) since I set the tank up in the Spring. The only reason I set it up that way is because that is how my brother was running the tank when it was his and I was learning what was what. I have now learned that it is not the best option, and I don't really like the look of the tubes running up the back of my tank.

My question is: Can I just pull the tubes and airstones out and leave the trays in the bottom of the tank (under a what seems like a TON of gravel!)? AND, will I be okay running just the HOB filter? I do have an airstone running at the opposite end of the tank that will keep the water moving down there...

Thanks!
 
sirdarksol
  • #2
Running just the HOB will be fine.
Leaving the tray under there may not be such a good idea, though. That space can become clogged, making an anaerobic pocket. When something then opens that pocket up, it can release some pretty toxic stuff into the water (which is the reason most people are switching to not using a UGF.)

A couple of options are:
You can do the work of pulling the thing out, relandscaping, etc...

or

You can buy a couple of powerheads and attach them to the tubes. Powerheads run UGFs much better than airstones do, and they create extra current in the tank (which may be good, bad, or indifferent, depending on the fish you have)
 
mrsmuffin
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Thanks for the response, Sir!

I was afraid that would be the answer about the trays, but I wanted another opinion. I will just have to work on that this weekend while I am doing water changes, I am going to go ahead and remove it all together because if I ran it with powerheads, I would still have the tubes running up the back.
 
pepetj
  • #4
HI Mrsmuffin: One interesting idea I got from the forum in Oscar Fish, a wonderful UK site, is using UGF with inversed flow. Maybe you could try that, and I definitely endorse the use of powerheads instead of airpumps for UGF.

There's no such thing as too much filtration (this I learned in fishlore).

Pepe
Santo Domingo
 
Tavel
  • #5
it shouldn't be too hard to remove the trays alltogether.

It might make the water pretty messy, so set your fish aside in a bucket with the power filter running, then set the plants aside in another bucket of water. remove most of the rest of the water leaving an inch or so above the gravel. Grab the tray and yank it out. then fill the tank halfway and empty it a few times to clear up the muck.

btw: my favorite fish buckets are used kitty litter tubs. they hold 4 gallons, have a sealing lid and are square so you can mount a power filter.

put your plants, fish and reserved water back in, and top it off with fresh water. You shouldn't even cycle again.

you could probably leave the fish in if you do very thorough gravel cleanings every week, otherwise the water is going to turn black. yucky.

I just replaced my gravel and it only took a half hour to an hour, and removing the filter trays is much easier!
 
mrsmuffin
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
I am for sure going to remove the trays this weekend. I do vacuum my gravel pretty thouroughly when I do my weekly water changes, however the large piece of driftwood in my tank seems to drop a lot of residue in to my gravel - I always pull out a ton of stuff that is definitely from the wood - not fish poo or leftover food. I will just have to decide if I want to remove the fish or not.

Thanks for your help!
 
Angelika
  • #7
I removed my UGF this week... I only have a 20 gal, but I took out plants, left fish and moved the gravel over to one side and slid it all off as I moved the filter out of the tank. It was easy and done and reset back up in no time....
 
mrsmuffin
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Well, I did it this afternoon. It was water change time anyway, so I vacuumed the gravel and drained about 50% of the water. I took out all of the plants and decor except for my large piece of driftwood (I felt like I needed to give everyone somewhere to hide!) and put them in a bucket with some of the water that I had removed. The trays actually came out pretty easy. The water got pretty murkey for a while and I am sure that the fish werent happy about my hands in and out of there, but I just added some clean treated water and then did another 20-30% water change, cleaned the filter media and let it run on high for a while... It took about an hour to clear up, and I will probably rinse out the filter media again tomorrow when I am doing water changes in my other tanks. Anyway, I just wanted to report my sucess! Thanks for all of the advise that you guys gave me.
 
Angelika
  • #9
woohoo... well done! another job outta the way...
 
Butterfly
  • #10
Glad it went well for you
carol
 
mrsmuffin
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Thanks! I am glad to have it done, and I woke up this morning to water clearer than it has ever been.
 
Tavel
  • #12
you must keep your gravel a lot cleaner than I do...lol.
 

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